In late summer of 1992, we had the first of many IEP (Individualized Education Program) staffings for Benjamin, a kindergartner. It resembled a Summit Meeting that required months of planning in order to assemble all of the Great Powers from both the Private and Public Sectors.
Finally, the Major Leaders of the different Countries convened, armed with pens, clipboards, and files filled with detailed reports describing observations, assessments, evaluations, progress, concerns, and recommendations. There were Therapists: physical (2), occupational (2), vision, speech and language; Administrators: the special education director and the school principal; Medical Personnel: nurses and health specialists; Teachers: classroom, resource, assistants; Parents: Kathie and Mark; Children: Benjamin and his sister, Emily; and Advocate, Liaison, and Friend: Charmaine.
There was a Changing of the Guard from private therapy administered in an isolated and segregated setting to public school—moving toward a new direction which provided for service delivery in Benjamin’s classroom. He would not have to experience being removed from his peers. Click here to continue.
But we’re not just teaching Benjamin, we’re learning from him: learning about how kids with disabilities are really like all kids, learning about ourselves and our fears, learning about life, and learning that all kids can learn and that all kids belong together.
Testimonial on Inclusive Education
(by Chaela Christianson, Special Education Teacher, as told to Kathie Snow)
New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense